Interview with Filmmaker Natalie Giannosa (FUNNY)

FUNNY, 24min., USA, Comedy
Directed by Natalie Giannosa, Jake Sylvester
This musical theatre thematic cabaret, is a love letter to the tormented artist. Who deals with internal battles behind closed doors, but at the end of the day still CHOOSES to CREATE beauty and art, out of the tragedy. Comedy/tragedy are the same face. Tragedy informs the comedy. Tragedy informs the beauty.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My motivation for this film is definitely a unique one. In the spring of 2020 I was a senior in my Musical Theatre BFA program at Cal State Fullerton. As a final project of our degree we were tasked with writing/performing our own musical theatre 30min cabarets. This project was unfortunately canceled due to the pandemic and we never got the chance to bring our creations to life. I had only a concept at that point, but I knew I wanted to do something regarding comedy/tragedy. This project meant a lot to me and I didn’t want to put it to rest. Since that time, I experienced a lot of challenging life experiences that had me seriously questioning my identity and worth. So, after almost two years, a new life perspective and a lot of rewrites, I finally decided to just make it, and adapt it into a film. It’s a love letter to the tormented artist, and the odd-balls who deal with internal battles behind closed doors, but at the end of the day still chooses to create beauty and art out of the tragedy.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

It took me 2 years since the original idea to make this film!

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

If I had to describe my film in two words it would be Comedy and Tragedy

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle we faced in completing this film was definitely the sound. Which I love because we ended up winning Best Sound from this festival which is a huge testament to our amazing sound engineer’s work, Cheyenne Benton! What you see of me singing in black&white is all pre-recored from a studio. The shots of me singing in color was all live in front of a real audience. So the trick was to try and get the live performances to have the same sound quality as the pre-recorded tracks, including getting our live pianist properly recorded as well. I don’t know what we would have done without Cheyenne. She definitely saved us, and I’m so glad her work is being recognized!

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

My initial reaction watching the feedback videos was pure joy! I can’t begin to tell you how much it fed my soul to hear how this film touched the audience. They took away from it exactly the themes I was trying to get across which was so encouraging to hear as a creative. And after all that hard work. I am so thankful for their feedback and I am inspired to keep making art!

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I have always wanted to write/direct. I had spent the first 10 years of my life pursuing musical theatre but there have been some new opportunities allowing me to finally step into the world of writing and directing. I have found a true passion in doing so. To be able to combine both worlds on this project was a dream!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

As much as I want to say an old classic, it’s honestly probably ‘Bridesmaids’

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I think just continuing to get feedback is the biggest thing. So many times we send in our work or go into an audition room and have no idea what worked or didn’t work. Constructive criticism is a gift in my book!

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway makes it so easy and accessible to submit your work and see what events are happening all over the world! As a new filmmaker, the website was very easy to navigate.

10. What is your favorite meal?

My favorite meal is some Italian sausage and Spiedini all day, every day.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m currently preparing for my move from LA to NYC! New York has always been a dream of mine and I’m excited for this next chapter of my life.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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